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Cablegate: Estonia: Ambassador Visits Women's Shelter

VZCZCXYZ0018
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0801 3541417
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201417Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0397

UNCLAS TALLINN 000801

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR G/IWI; EUR/NB - KATHERIN GARRY; EUR/PPD - ANDREA
STRANO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA: AMBASSADOR VISITS WOMEN'S SHELTER

1. (U) On December 10, Ambassador visited the Tallinn
Women's Crisis Center (TWCC) to mark International Human
Rights Day and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender
Violence. Ambassador toured the facility and met with
Center staff, including the center director, a lawyer who
provides legal services to domestic violence victims, and a
psychologist who specializes in 'crisis psychology.' The
discussion focused on both the global scope of gender
violence and what is being done in Estonia to address the
issue. Ambassador was accompanied by a reporter and
photographer from a widely-distributed Tallinn-area free
newspaper.

2. (U) Estonia has three domestic violence shelters, two of
which are in Tallinn. TWCC, which opened in 2006, can
house up to 16 women and children at a time (twelve at the
main center and four at an offsite apartment). During its
first year of operation, the shelter provided a safe place
to stay for 62 women and 17 children. In addition,
approximately 500 women have utilized the psychological and
legal services available at the facility. TWCC also offers
off'site psychological counseling services to the partners
of abused women.

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3. (U) Domestic violence is a problem in Estonia, although
the level of violence is in line with the EU average.
According to domestic NGOs, one in five women in Estonia
has suffered physical, emotional, or sexual domestic
violence.

4. (U) Coverage of Ambassador's visit was provided by
Linnaleht (125,000 readers), which published one article
specifically about Ambassador's visit and a second article
about gender violence in Estonia in general. The Embassy
asked Linnaleht to accompany Ambassador in order to garner
much-needed publicity for the shelter. Linnaleht is
distributed for free throughout the Tallinn area, thus
offering the best potential to get information about the
center's resources to the women and families in need.

Phillips

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